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Kroger names Ellis as next president, COO

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger said Thursday that Michael Ellis, senior vice president of retail divisions, will become its president and chief operating officer at the start of the new year.

The announcement is part of the company's succession plan, as it said last month that President and Chief Operating Officer W. Rodney McMullen would become CEO in January when current CEO David Dillon retires.

Dillon, 62, will remain with the nation's biggest traditional supermarket operator until Dec. 31, 2014 as chairman.

The 55-year-old Ellis has served as senior vice president of retail divisions since last year. In that role, he heads five retail supermarket divisions and the company's jewelry and convenience store businesses.

In September Kroger reported that its second-quarter profit climbed as it booked lower charges and tried to build shopper loyalty with improved offerings.

Kroger Co., which owns Ralphs, Fry's and other chains, is based in Cincinnati.

Its stock rose 12 cents to $41.99 in afternoon trading.

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